VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Two Pittsburgh men are hoping to heal the Virginia Beach community through art.
They are creating a vision that will answer the violence that hit the area on May 31. The mural will honor those whose lives were taken at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center.
The mural is called “Peace Doves.”
“It’s hard to see a silver lining in such a tragedy,” said artist John Muldoon.
It’s also hard to put into words the impact of the mass shooting in Virginia Beach, which is why Muldoon and fellow artist Sean Coffey are putting it onto a wall in the Rudee Loop in Virginia Beach.
Coffey said, “Try to help them heal a little.”
The artists designed the “Peace Doves” mural last spring, hoping to paint it on the outer wall of the Rudee Loop, but their design was not chosen by the City of Virginia Beach. However, when they heard about the shooting, they offered to paint it anywhere in the city for free.
“It seemed a little bit like this was meant to be,” Muldoon said.
The mural will have 12 origami doves.
“The peace doves just being, you know, almost a worldwide sign of peace,” Coffey said.
The doves are also a tribute to the 12 people killed in the shooting.
The mural will also have the shadow of hummingbirds, which are known for their resilience.
Muldoon said, “We think this community has strength and we wanted it, we wanted it to carry on, we want it to keep going.”
These Pittsburgh residents know something about carrying on. Their community was also impacted by a mass shooting nearly one year ago.
“It’s hard for everybody to find a balance again at the end of it, so we’re hoping this balance of color and light and peaceful thoughts can help everybody come to peace with the things that have happened,” Coffey said.
They hope their art speaks for them: a message of peace and strength.
Coffee and Muldoon will spend about 30 hours on this mural. They hope to have it finished by Saturday night.